Accordions Worldwide "The Squeeze"
12th November 1999
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We have received a number of emails from our readers, asking for information on concertinas. Accordions Worldwide is a site for all free-reed instruments and the concertina is a very important part of the wonderful bellows "family". Most weeks, we publish at least one news item about concertina activities in the "Weekly News" and we also have an informative "Articles" section which includes concertina articles. We urge all concertina players, events organisers, teachers etc. to please send news and information for future publication, so that we can continue to promote the exciting activities of the concertina and all other bellows instruments. To those who regularly send news and information, the bellows world thanks you very much.

Wayne Knights Webmaster

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Clean Sweep for France at Coupe Mondiale - Germany

Contributed by Kevin Friedrich

The 52nd Coupe Mondiale International Competition for Accordion Soloists was held from November 3rd to 7th in Trossingen, Germany with contestants from France winning each of the competition categories.

Jérôme Richard, student of Frédéric Deschamps, was crowned the 1999 C.I.A. World Accordion Champion, after an exciting competition, which saw Dragan Vasiljevic (Yugoslavia) in second place. Last year, Dragan was first equal in the Junior Coupe Mondiale. Noel Aurelien from France (a student of Jacques Monét) was crowned the Virtuoso Entertainment Winner (he was the second place winner in this category last year), and Magali Boissier, from France won the Junior Coupe Mondiale.

It was nice to see some interesting family ties at this year's competition. Cathy Sommers (USA) who placed 7th in the Coupe Mondiale, is daughter of the C.I.A delegate from the USA-ATG, Joan Sommers. Johnny-Lee Leslie, who placed 5th in the Junior Coupe Mondiale, is son of the C.I.A. Music Committee member John Leslie, and Mickael Richard, who placed third in the Virtuoso Entertainment category, is the brother of this years Coupe Mondiale Winner, Jérôme Richard!

busThe C.I.A. were guests of the City of Trossingen, and it was fitting that a city with such a tremendous history in the accordion, was our final venue for this century.

Next years Coupe Mondiale, will be held in Kragujovac, Yugoslavia from October 25th to 30th. For further information on the 1999 Coupe Mondiale, you can browse the pictures and news in the CIA daily reports section.


Coupe Mondiale:

Junior Coupe Mondiale:

  • 1st Magali Boissier (France),
  • 2nd Miroslav Grahovac (Yugoslavia),
  • 3rd Vilma Miliute (Lithuania)

Virtuoso Entertainment Category:

  • 1st Noel Aurelien (France),
  • 2nd Marielle Roy (France),
  • 3rd Mickael Richard (France)
"The Modern Accordion in Spain" Series - England

Angel Luis CastanoContributed by Angel Luis Castaño

A concert series entitled "The Modern Accordion in Spain" will take place from December 13th to 15th at the Spanish Cervantes Institute in London. The series will include a concert by Duo Contraste which consists of Esteban Algora (accordion) and Avelina Vidal (guitar) who will play new music by Sebastian Marine. Duo Angel Luis Castaño (accordion) and David Apellaniz (cello) will play Spanish music including Sonata for solo accordion (Tomas Marco) and Preludio y Toccata for cello and accordion (Flores Chaviano).

On December 14th Angel Luis Castaño will give a lecture entitled "The accordion, instrument for the XXI century; the repertoire in Spain". See Future Events for details

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Concertina versus Rugby - South Africa

Stephaan van ZylContributed by Sean Minnie

Despite fierce competition from the rugby, (South Africa's most popular sport) the local hall was still packed with people looking forward to a great concertina Boermusic gathering in Pretoria on November 6th. Entertainment was provided by the Jan Botes Band and the Gert Jooste Band.

Well known concertina player Stephaan van Zyl performed on three different concertinas including a South African built "Havil" Anglo (manufactured by the late Hannes Viljoen). Sean Minnie also entertained on a 6 row duet concertina.

Westfield Works Wonders Charity Evening - USA

The "K Trio"On November 21st, the K Trio (Walter Kasprzyk, Mary Kasprzyk Tokarski and Julie Kasprzyk Cardona) will perform at the Westfield Works Wonders Charity Evening. This event will help Westfield Shopping town raise money for over 230 Connecticut schools, hospitals and non-profit organizations! The K Trio will play the "Minute Waltz" (Chopin) "Danse Macabre"(Saint-Saens'), "Five O'Clock Rush" (Ettore), "Casey Jones" (Siebert & Newton) and a variety of "Holiday" music.

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Accordion on National Television - Germany

Contributed by Uli Ebner

The National German Television Station ZDF will screen a Sunday concert focusing on the accordion on November 14th. The program will feature the 1st Cologne Accordion Orchestra, the Hohnerklang Orchestra, Quintetto Accento, Lydie Auvray, the Schiewe duo, Bettina & Patricia, die Feldberger, Harmonicamento, Janez & Irena, Yasuo Watani, Simon Rössler, Duo Nebl & Nebl and Simone Christ. The program will be repeated on November 15th.

President Visits the Music Marche Stand - Italy

Romano ProdiContributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl

Romano Prodi, President of the European Commission, visited an accordion stand during the 5th Musical Instrument Exhibition held recently at the beautiful Rocca Paolina in Perugia. The stand was organized by Castelfidardo craftsmen belonging to the Music Marche consortium. Mr Prodi followed very attentively, some of the demonstrations of the principles of accordion construction and expressed his admiration for the skill of the craftsmen who made Castelfidardo famous all over the world.

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Damien Barber on Concertina - UK

Contributed by Jane Edwards

Concertina player Damien Barber will perform at The Grove, Leeds on November 19th. The following day Damien will perform with the John Wright Band and Grace Notes at a "Bag O'Shoddy Concert" in Gildersome, Leeds. For further information on these concerts see Future Events

Annual Accordion Cruise - USA

An "Annual Accordion Cruise" will take place from November 28th to December 5th. The 7 day cruise entitled Polka Cruise" will take place in the Southern Caribbean visiting San Juan, St. Thomas, Martinique, Barbados, Antiqua & St. Maarten. See Future Events for details.

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The Accordion World in Mourning for Wolmer Beltrami - Italy

Contributed by Holda Paoletti-Kampl and Luigi Lombardi

Wolmer BeltramiWolmer Beltrami, one of the great accordionists of this century, died on October 28th, 1999. He was born in 1922 in the little town of Breda Cisoni, in the province of Mantua, and began studying the accordion with his father, immediately showing his great potential. At fifteen he signed his first contract as a professional solo accordionist with the "Columbia" recording label, and soon after he started holding concerts abroad, especially in Germany and Switzerland. In 1947 he founded the "Wolmer-Kramer" duo which successfully toured Italy and England gaining wide acclaim through TV, theatre and radio appearances as well as several recordings.

Wolmer Beltrami's style was unique and unmistakable, which can be seen by his wide range of recordings, from jazz, classical and virtuoso pieces. For further information see Memorials

Brian Peters Tours West Coast - USA

Contributed by Daniel Hersh

On Sunday, November 21st, Brian Peters (England) will perform a concert in Berkeley, West Coast, USA. Brian sings and plays "high energy English traditional music" on the melodeon and English concertina. He has performed successfully in Scotland, Wales, Germany, Holland, Norway, Australia, the USA and Canada. He plays a variety of music including ancient ballads, original and contemporary songs as well as his own compositions. His 1988 album, "Fools of Fortune" won the Folk Roots Magazine Album of the Year award.

For further information email:

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"SWAP" Tours Germany

Contributed by Jan Lucas

Popular group "SWAP" which includes Karen Tweed (accordion), Ian Carr (guitar) and Swedish musicians Ola Backstrom and Carina Normansson (violin) are currently touring Germany until November 20th. For tour schedule details phone Siegfried Maeker: +49 7 905 626

Joan Sommers recovering in hospital in Switzerland

Joan SommersAfter visiting the beautiful Mountain of Rigi-Kulm in Switzerland with the US contingent from the Coupe Mondiale World Accordion Championships, Joan Sommers suffered an unfortunate fall, breaking both legs. One leg is broken in three places, and the other once. She is currently recovering from surgery in the Kantonsspital, in Luzern, Switzerland, and hopefully will be able to be transferred back to the USA early next week, where she can continue her recovery at home in the Kansas City area.

Among the US contingent who were enjoying a couple of days vacation after attending the World Championships in Trossingen, are her husband Paul and daughter Cathy, so it is fortunate that she has her family members with her during this time. They will of course remain with her, until she is released to return to the United States. It is hoped that this will happen on Monday the 15th.

For those wishing to send Joan well wishes, her address for flowers and cards is: (from November 16th onwards)

Joan Sommers
2312 W 71st Terrace
Prairie Village, Kansas 66208,

We wish her a speedy recovery from this most unfortunate accident.

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Quartetto Gelato Tours USA

Quartetto GelatoContributed by George Meanwell

Canadian group Quartetto Gelato, are currently touring the USA. The group includes Joseph Macerollo (accordion),Peter De Sotto (tenor, violin, mandolin), Cynthia Steljes (oboe, English horn) and George Meanwell (cello, guitar, mandolin). The tour began on October 28th in New York and the quartet has played to audiences of up to 1,000 people.

Their program includes "Bagatelles Opus 47" (Dvorak), "Tanti Anni Prima" (Astor Piazzolla), songs by Leoncavallo and Buzzi-Peccia with Joseph featuring in "Dark Eyes" and "Prelude and Dance" (Paul Creston).

November concerts will be held in Mississippi, Georgia, Florida and Washington with December appearances in Kansas, St. Louis, Louisville, Texas and Morrow.

Joe Macerollo says: "It's important now that the accordion is getting more visibility in the market that the group is getting a chance to highlight the instrument. It gives us a chance to use the accordion both in the concert and folk style".

See Future Events for details.

Thisted Performances - Denmark

Contributed by Arne Morsing

Popular Danish group The Thisted Accordion Band will perform in the Thy-hallen in Thisted on November 14th. The group recently released their new CD "Skoda valsen" which includes tracks like "Blåklokker" "Kivikspolka" and "Ringelåten". For further details email:

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New Work Needs Virtuoso Accordionist - UK

British composer John Palmer has just written a dramatic work for concert accordion suitable for a virtuoso accordionist. He is currently looking for a virtuoso capable of performing this work. The work entitled "Drang" is approximately 8 minutes long and is to be played with much 'Sturm und Drang' character; impetuous, yearning, passionate, gestural, directional and always virtuoso-like. For this reason, rubato techniques are essential and the performer is encouraged to emphasize and exaggerate the phrasing and articulation according to her/his virtuosity and interpretation. The production of air sounds from within the instrument should resemble the inhaling and exhaling of human breathing, enhance the dramatic character, and be no less important than the notes.

For further details please email:

Dusty Strings Concertina Workshop - USA

On November 13th Ian Robb will give an English Concertina Workshop at Dusty Strings in Seattle, Washington. Prior to this, Ian performed on Whidbey Island on November 11th and gave a successful concert for the Seattle Folklore Society at The Grateful Bread on the 12th. For further information on the workshop phone: + 1 206-634-1662

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Jazz Concert - France

French accordionist Marc Berthoumieux will perform at "Jazz et Java" in Drancy on November 14th. Marc recently released his new CD "Les Couleurs D'ici" (Local Colours) which includes jazz pieces with "wonderful feeling for melody". For further information email:

New Music Published - Austria

Contributed by Sandra Kuisle

A new accordion music book entitled "Das Beste von Slavko Avsenik und seinen Original Oberkrainern" (The best of Slavko Avsenik and his original Upperkrainians) was released recently by KOCH music publishers.. The book includes tunes such as "Alpen-Echo", "Die kleine Eisenbahn" (The little train), and "Es ist so schön ein Musikant zu sein" (It is good to be a musician).

For further information email:


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Accordionist with Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra - USA

On November 6th, accordionist Joanna Arnold performed with the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra at the renowned Academy of Music in Philadelphia. Joanna played the tango "Dominic Argentos" which consisted of a cadenza followed by the main tago melody to a sell out audience of 2900.

Prior to the concert there was a special "Meet the Artist" demonstration and mini recital. Presentations were given to Joanna and the director of the percussion section. Media as well as members of the Board of Directors and Director of Education for the Symphony were also present.

Joanna has been asked to do all future accordion work that the Philadelphia Orchestra needs, which she considers a great honor. Joanna is a board member of the Accordionists and Teachers Guild, American Accordionist's Association and the American Accordion Musicological Society.

Antique Accordion Information

Kathleen & Corwyn Carpenter would like some information on a 48 bass piano accordion that was brought back from Germany after the second world war. It has the name "Alfred Arnold" on it. If you can help please email:

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